OREANDA-NEWS. Fortum has made a final investment decision on the 75-megawatt Solberg wind park project in Northern Sweden, announced earlier this year. According to the plan, the construction starts in summer 2016 with ground works and the wind park is expected to start production in early 2018. Skelleftea Kraft AB (SKAB) has an option to participate in the project with a 50% share, subject to decision by their municipal owner and authority approvals, if any. SKAB is expected to decide on their participation during the second quarter of 2016.

The total investment of the whole project is approximately EUR 100 million.

The project is an important step in the implementation of Fortum's newly announced strategy and the ambition to grow in wind and solar power. Fortum aims to grow in wind and solar businesses through developing new projects and selective acquisitions.

"Sweden is a natural choice for Fortum in wind power. It is one of our largest home markets and there we have the majority of our hydro capacity that is crucial in balancing the variability in wind power production. We have had good cooperation with Skelleftea Kraft in the Blaiken wind power park, and we are looking forward to continue our cooperation also in Solberg", says Kari Kautinen, Senior Vice President, M&A and Solar & Wind Development at Fortum.

"There aren't that many sites in Sweden that have wind conditions suitable for large scale land based wind power parks, so this is a rare investment opportunity. We are also pleased that it means a continued cooperation with Fortum", says Hans Kreisel, CEO of Skelleftea Kraft.

The Solberg wind park will have 22 wind turbines with a total capacity of 75 megawatts. The wind turbines for Solberg wind park will be delivered by Vestas. Arise will deliver construction management services to the project. Solberg's annual production is estimated to be about 250 gigawatt-hours (GWh), which is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 50,000 households.

Sweden has a market-based electricity certificate support system for renewable electricity production.